Justin Spike, Associated Press
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Britain’s Prince Charles traveled to the Romanian capital Wednesday to visit refugees, mostly women and children, left behind by Russia’s war in Ukraine, who have found safety in the neighboring Eastern European country.
The Prince of Wales visited the Romexpo charity center for Ukrainian refugees in Bucharest. There he met with some of the nearly 1 million Ukrainians who had arrived in Romania since the war began on 20 February. 24, and oversaw relief efforts by the government and volunteers.
Speaking to a group of Ukrainians through an interpreter, Charles apologized for his lack of language skills, saying, “I wish my Ukrainian was better.”
“We sympathize with you very much, this is a nightmarish situation,” he said. “I am filled with admiration for the Ukrainian people. Total, extraordinary courage and resilience.”
During his visit, Charles received a gift from some Ukrainian children in the center: wooden spoons painted with traditional Ukrainian patterns.
“Great, thank you, thank you,” Charles said to one of the children. — I like the way you drew it.
Charles was joined by representatives of the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the United Nations refugee agency, as well as the mayor of Bucharest and members of other government relief agencies.
According to the center’s leaders, more than 1,000 Ukrainians visit the donation center every day to receive free food, hygiene products, clothes and shoes. Refugees also have access to social services and counseling while they remain in Romania.
This visit was the latest in a series of encounters between Charles and Ukrainian refugees in recent weeks. Last week, he visited the Ukrainian community in Ottawa, Canada, where he met with a war-displaced family, according to the British Embassy in Bucharest.
More than 972,000 Ukrainians have fled to Romania since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, according to the UN refugee agency.
Follow AP reporting on the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.
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